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Dr. Phil Cahoy reflects on Olympic past
It can be argued Dr. Phil Cahoy of Grand Island is one of the greatest athletes never to win an Olympic Gold Medal. As a National Champion gymnast for the University of Nebraska, he was certainly in line to do so 32 years ago in 1980 before the events of the world prevented him from doing that.
("Now here comes a very tricky movement, a deamadol, a full turn around, one are preparing for the dismount, one and a half twist to a good score for Phil Cahoy.")
When University of Nebraska gymnast Phil Cahoy performed his rountine 32 years ago this month at the Jacksonville Coliseum, he knew he'd made the USA Olympic Team.
He also knew well before then he was not going to compete in Moscow because the Soviet Union occupied Afganistan. That year, President Jimmy Carter said the United States would not participate.
Neither the American people nor I will support sending an Olympic team to Moscow (Applause)
These days, Doctor Phil Cahoy who was National Champion in parallel bars and certainly could have won a gold medal,says he doesn't really reflect on what might have been.
"I was kind of able to put that behind me because to me gymnastics was a sport and I knew even from a young age it would have come to an end sometime and the next thing is what you're going to do the rest of your life," said Cahoy.
Hoping that the Soviet Union would leave Afghanistan kept hope alive that the USA Olympic team including Phil Cahoy could go to Moscow.
"There was talk about it even before the Olympic trials. We're going, we're not going, there might be a last minute this or a last minute that and we all went through the trials like there was going to be a reprieve," Cahoy said.
And as the games of the 21st Olympiad approached, Dr. Phil Cahoy and the rest of the team visited President Carter at the White House and never went to Russia.
"We had to go to Washington, DC, the whole Olympic team met President Carter back then and were taken around on tours of Washington, so you knew it was about it," said Cahoy.
Had he competed in the 1980 Olympics and since he already was national champion, Dr. Phil Cahoy had no doubt he could have brought home a gold medal.
"I would have been favorite in a couple of those events," said Cahoy.
And all these years later when people talk to Doctor Phil Cahoy they always talk to him about what might have been.
"Yeah, they ask about it and say that was too bad and it was too bad but like I said I've always had a pretty good appreciation. I love sports and that's what I do for my life I take care of athletes," said Cahoy.
Dr. Cahoy went on to compete in the '84 Olympic Trials but injuries kept him from making the team. He gave it one last shot in 1988, but an injured neck ended his chance at competition.
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